Nazario honored with street dedication

Portion of Cottman Avenue dedicated to fallen officer

From Roosevelt Boulevard to Frankford Avenue, Cottman Avenue is now known as the Police Officer Isabel Nazario Memorial Highway.

In loving memory: Cottman Avenue, from Roosevelt Boulevard to Frankford Avenue, is now known as the Police Officer Isabel Nazario Memorial Highway. Members of her family attended a dedication ceremony on Sept. 27. TOM WARING / TIMES PHOTO

State Reps. Martina White and John Taylor last week joined Police Commissioner Richard Ross and Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 president John McNesby for a ceremony that dedicated a portion of Cottman Avenue for fallen police officer Isabel Nazario.

Cottman Avenue, from Roosevelt Boulevard to Frankford Avenue, is now known as the Police Officer Isabel Nazario Memorial Highway.

Members of Nazario’s family were at the Sept. 27 dedication, at Frankford and Cottman.

“It was a beautiful turnout,” said Jazmin Nazario, the officer’s daughter. “We have a lot of support. It’s bittersweet, but we’re happy to be able to keep her memory alive.”

“Thank you for remembering my daughter,” said the officer’s mom, Patricia Santiago.

The legislation naming the avenue after Nazario was co-sponsored by Taylor and White.

Others in attendance included state Sen. John Sabatina Jr., state Rep. Mike Driscoll, aides to City Councilmen Al Taubenberger and Bobby Henon, more than 100 officers and the Mayfair Sino-United States Dance Group..

Last week’s ceremony also featured the Pledge of Allegiance, national anthem, prayers by the Rev. Steve Wetzel, bagpipers playing Amazing Grace and a police helicopter flyover.

“It’s important to remember fallen officers for the sacrifices they make, and their families,” White said. “Today was really nice. It was emotional. The flyover was amazing, and there was an incredible number of law enforcement officers here.”

Nazario, who lived on Welsh Road in Holmesburg, was killed on Sept. 5, 2008, when a stolen, speeding Cadillac Escalade driven by a 16-year-old boy hit her patrol car at 39th and Wallace streets. She was 40 years old.

Two signs marking the street name stand along Cottman Avenue, one at Frankford Avenue and the other at Roosevelt Boulevard. A third sign was given to Nazario’s family.

Nazario graduated from Olney High School in 1986 and joined the Philadelphia Police Academy in 1990. She was part of the Narcotics Strike Force and assigned to the 16th Police District in West Philadelphia.

A plaque was dedicated for Nazario back in 2010 at Juniata Park Academy Public School, at G Street and Hunting Park Avenue. ••